UPDATE : Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Korea lags far behind in biomedical R&D: report
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2017.09.21 16:14
  • Updated 2017.09.21 16:14
  • comments 0

Korea’s investment in the biomedical research and development lags far behind other advanced countries such as the U.S., a report showed.

According to the report by the Hyundai Research Institute현대경제연구원 on the international comparison of the R&D by countries to prepare for “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Korea’s R&D in the biomedical sector was 2.3 percent of that of the United States.

Korea’s R&D in biomedical businesses was second lowest after that of the IT service sector, which was only 1.7 percent of that of the U.S. Other industries related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution had higher R&D ratio.

In proportion to investments in the U.S., Korea’s R&D in electronics was the highest with 43.1 percent. Investments in machinery and equipment in Korea was 32.4 percent of that of Japan. In telecommunications service, Korea had 13.1 percent R&D of that of the U.S., the report said.

In the biomedical sector, the number of registered patents in Korea fell far short of those in advanced countries.

“The report showed that Korea’s R&D investment in new industries lags far behind other nations. Korea’s investments are mostly concentrated in manufacturing, and the electronics in particular, while the U.S., Japan, and Germany have balanced investments in manufacturing and services,” said Lee Jae-ho이재호, a research fellow at the Hyundai Research Institute.

“If we compare the investment ratio, the electronics industry had a high ratio of 43 percent of that of the U.S., while IT services and biomedical sector had a low share. Investments in these lagging sectors should be increased,” he added.

Lee said the government should enhance R&D support for the biomedical industry and diversify incentives in regulation, finance, and taxation. He noted that biomedical advancements could lead the development of new materials and sensor-related technologies in other sectors.

“The U.S., Japan, and Germany have balanced investments in IT services and the biomedical industry. Korea not only lags behind them in R&D but there are almost no global players in this area, which is why we need an integrated investment strategy including direct support by the government,” he said.

The report measured the degree of fourth industrial development using various criteria such as artificial intelligence, big data, Internet of Things, sensor, automation technology, new material and biotechnology, under five categories set by the International Standard Industry Classification – IT services, telecommunications service, electronics, machinery and equipment, and biomedical sector.


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